Sesame Workshop Officially Names Sherrie Westin as CEO

Sesame Workshop, the global nonprofit behind “Sesame Street,” is officially embracing Sherrie Westin as its CEO, the organization announced Monday. The executive has served as interim CEO since February of this year and will be the first woman to lead the organization since Joan Ganz Cooney cofounded the company in 1968.

Westin has served as president of Sesame Workshop since 2021 and has been with the company for 26 years. Since joining the organization in 1998, Westin led efforts across programming, licensing, research, education and brand strategy, helping to develop “Sesame Street” into a global, scalable brand.

“After an extensive CEO search, the Sesame Workshop Board of Trustees unanimously selected Sherrie Westin, who has proven herself to be deeply knowledgeable, tireless in her efforts on behalf of children and families and passionately committed to our mission,” Gaby Sulzberger, chair of the Sesame Workshop Board, said in a statement to press. “Sherrie is the inspirational leader the Workshop needs, and she has the Board’s absolute confidence and support as she accepts this role and leads us into the future.”

“Sesame Workshop’s mission is to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder — and no one has done more to advance that mission than Sherrie Westin, a seasoned leader with both proven experience and an unwavering dedication to uplifting the lives of children,” Cooney, the creator of “Sesame Street,” added. “I can think of no better person to lead Sesame Workshop as it addresses the most pressing needs of children and families around the world.”

Westin’s career has spanned the media, nonprofit and public service worlds. Previously, she served as the assistant to the President for public liaison and intergovernmental affairs for President George H.W. Bush and held senior positions at the ABC Television Network and U.S. News & World Report. She also spearheaded a partnership with the International Rescue Committee, bringing early education to children in the Middle East. That collaboration was awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s first-ever “100&Change” $100 million grant. It has since expanded to reach children impacted by crisis in Bangladesh, East Africa and Latin America, as well as those who have been forcibly displaced from Afghanistan and Ukraine.

“Children are the most important investment we can make in our future. They are the reason ‘Sesame Street’ was created 55 years ago, and why the need for our work is greater than ever,” Westin said in a statement. “Carrying on Joan Ganz Cooney’s legacy is both humbling and inspiring, and I’m honored to work with Gaby, the Trustees and my colleagues to make sure that ‘Sesame Street’ can continue to help children thrive for the next 55 years and beyond.”

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